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Process begins to honor trailblazing tax assessor-collector

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

County Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant on Tuesday proposed to the Travis County Commissioners Court to rename the office he works in after his predecessor, Nelda Wells Spears. The first African-American in Texas to serve as a tax assessor-collector, Spears spent 20 years in that role before stepping down in 2011. She died in March at the age of 71. In order to consider the proposal to rename the building at 5501 Airport Blvd., the court unanimously voted to issue a general call for recommendations from the public. Residents can submit their proposals – which must include a biographical sketch of recommended individuals who have made a significant contribution to Travis County – to Facilities Management Director Roger El Khoury by June 11. However, based on statements from the dais, it’s clear that Spears is the clear front-runner for the honor. “It would be a wonderful way to memorialize her,” County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said. Commissioner Jeff Travillion added, “What she represents is so significant in this community: an L.C. Anderson (High School) grad, a person who grew up in the Greater Mount Zion Church, a true community person who lived an honorable life of public service.” The Commissioners Court is set to hold a public hearing on the proposed renaming at its June 19 regular voting session.

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